1990, April: Snake Shoots Man

On April 24, 1990, the Associated Press released an odd story from Iran... and a number of periodicals picked it up. According to the report, a hunter named Ali Asghar Ahani attempted to capture a snake near the city of Tehran by pressing the butt of his shotgun down behind its head to pin it to the ground. According to another man who was hunting with Ahani, the snake coiled around the butt of the gun, thrashing... and it's tail caught and pulled the trigger, shooting Ahani in the head. The snake managed to fire off the second barrel of the shotgun shortly after, when the unnamed second man tried to grab the gun; he wasn't shot, however. No one says what happened to the snake.

        The AP story was dispatched from Nicosia, Cyprus; the original source for the story is credited as being the official Islamic Republic News Agency... so it's possible the original report can be tracked down, as it would likely have appeared in more than one newspaper. (That's another thing on the 'to-do' list!) The Tuesday April 24 report claimed Ahani had been shot on Monday, so April 23 or 16 may have been the days the accident happened, depending how much time was lost in translating the article.

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